Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cancer Diagnosis Project Attracts Investor Millions

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cancer Diagnosis Project Attracts Investor Millions

Article excerpt


ACUTTING-EDGE biotech firm has raised PS3.5m in investment to fund its use of artificial intelligence (AI) to diagnose cancers and save lives.

Newcastle's Biosignatures is developing a new system that uses advanced machine learning to analyse blood tests to diagnose illnesses at a much earlier stage.

The company was founded by Dave Bamwell and Will Dracup - who previously founded and sold Nonlinear Dynamics - after realising that new technology had the potential to vastly improve blood tests.

At the moment GPs only have access to two types of blood tests that can detect cancer in patients.

However, using the PS3.5m investment, Biosignatures will analyse hundreds of thousands of samples from biobanks with the aim of developing 20 new diagnostic screening tests.

The research will take several years but if successful will mean that all 20 tests could be performed with just one blood sample and be capable of diagnosing cancers and dementia.

Will Dracup, co-founder and chief executive of Biosignatures, said: "It is safe to say that if Biosignatures can deliver on this vision - as we believe we can - it will be transformative for healthcare delivery worldwide.

"Vast amounts of money can be saved if an effective set of screening tests can be developed.

"We will literally be saving billions by saving millions."

Biosignature's technology works by measuring proteins in the blood to find minute changes that could signify the early stages of an illness. The data collected will be analysed using the machine learning system to find out which measurements can be used to diagnose different disease.

The company's first product is a blood test for prostate cancer, which has been developed with the NHS. In an independently blinded validated trial the test performed four times better than current methods. …

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